Pastor’s Blog Wk 1.7.19: “Nothing will Change” in 2019…

You have heard it said that, “insanity is doing the same thing over and over, but expecting different results.” Another year is past and a new one has begun. For many of us, this is a time to reflect on what we did right, what we did wrong and what we could have done better. Many will set new goals, New Year’s resolutions with bigger and brighter expectations than the previous year. The sad truth is that 35% of participants who failed their New Year’s Resolutions admitted they had unrealistic goals, 33% of participants didn’t keep track of their progress and a further 23% forgot about it.

Nearly one in 10 respondents claimed they made too many resolutions and well over half of all New Year’s resolutions fail. Where do we miss it? Why do we, year after year set goals that we cannot attain? Why do people purchase books on how to make and keep New Year’s Resolutions and never even make it to the second chapter? The answer is much simpler than you think.

You see, every year we tap into our emotions and begin to decree, declare and prophesy – name it and claim it, health and wealth – but if you want things to change, but fail to change yourself, nothing will change… it is that simple. You cannot expect God to do something new in your life if you fail to do something new yourself. You see, God is not moved simply by your emotions, he doesn’t work in obscurity or false expectations.

The problem in many churches today is that we inadvertently fall prey to an overemphasis on emotionally driven sermons that lack the practicality of implementation. People desire and truly want to get better results, but many times after the hooting and hollering, after the sermon ends and the church doors close, we are still left with, “how do I get there?”

Everything spiritual must be practical, because if it’s not practical then I can’t incorporate it into my life. The Bible is the manual on how God works, and God responds well to His word and His word alone. We read in the Bible that, “He places His word above His name,” (Psalm 138:2). He moves and acts within the patterns, parameters, and principles that He has established from the beginning of time. If you’re not having success in life, get out of the way and get in, “The Way”. He is the way, the truth and the life (John 14:6). Stop looking at God as a genie in a bottle.

So how do we get there?

PLAN: “Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, (I-pad J) so he may run who reads it”. Write your plan/vision for 2019 and make sure to set goals, because a plan without a goal is just a wish. You need to have measurable goals so you can evaluate your progress. Listen to this passage of scripture, “Before you do anything, (in 2019) put your trust totally in God and not in yourself. Then every plan you make will succeed. The Lord works everything together to accomplish his purpose.” (Prov 16:1-3)

No treasure map contains the treasure; the treasure map has instructions on how to get to the treasure. God’s word is not only the map but also the treasure and as we follow His patterns, principles, and plans we can take hold of His treasured promises. Jesus said, “The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks…(Luke 6:45)

PRAY:  Not only pray, but we must do so by the leading of the Holy Spirit. Jesus taught His disciples to pray for Gods will to be done on earth, not theirs. Many times we pray with carnal minds and selfish ambition. Our prayer falls on deaf ears when we pray for our will to be done versus His. Your motive either moves God or it doesn’t. Listen to these sobering words, “You jealously want what others have so you begin to see yourself as better than others. You scheme with envy and harm others to selfishly obtain what you crave—that’s why you quarrel and fight. And all the time you don’t obtain what you want because you won’t ask God for it! And if you ask, you won’t receive it for you’re asking with corrupt motives, seeking only to fulfill your own selfish desires. (James 4:2-3)

NewsFlash >> Prayer is not to inform God, but to exercise our faith in God. “For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts, and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome.” (Jeremiah 29:11)

ACT: The Bible has a whole book dedicated to the Acts of the early church, I like to call it the book of action. You have to take action. Nothing is accomplished without some elbow grease, right? Most people don’t take action because they are either lazy or fearful. I like this scripture that addresses laziness, “A little extra sleep, a little more slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest then poverty will pounce on you like a bandit; scarcity will attack you like an armed robber.” (Prov 6:10-11) If we have God on our side, then we have everything we need. Well, what if I fail? Well, what if you succeed? I would rather aim for something and miss, than aim for nothing and hit. Are there risks? Yes, but you will never discover the power of faith if you don’t let go of fear. I would rather be freed by faith than imprisoned by fear. Here’s what God says about taking action, “But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves.” (James 1:22) The Word is a series of principles that builds character and if we heed His word and choose to be transformed by it, something miraculous takes place, it changes us and thereby begins affecting our everyday life.

You want things to change in 2019? Then Plan, Pray and Act, because if you don’t change, nothing will.